After more than a year in preparation, Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy, a new encyclopedia edited by Robin Reid and forthcoming from Greenwood, has finally gone to press. This is a mammoth two-volume work of some 320,000 words and 1,500 manuscript pages (700 pages in the final published form). The first volume consists of lengthier, more general essays, by period, medium, subgenre, and so forth (more details here); while the second volume consists of many more, and shorter, entries on specific authors and works (some additional informaiton here).
I wrote two small entries for Volume II, on Lloyd Alexander and Karen Wynn Fonstad. Both topics were, in fact, not on Robin’s original list, but she added them at my suggestion, so I feel good about making sure they weren’t overlooked. Both passed away recently (Alexander, very recently), so I felt the entries afforded me an opportunity for a last eulogy to them. In fact, Alexander was still alive when I submitted my entry on him, and I had intended to write to him again (as I had back in the middle 1980’s) to tell him about it. The news of his death put an end to those plans and necessitated some alteration of the entry on him — mainly in the matter of tense.
Anyway, this new encyclopedia (planned for release this coming June, at a whopping $249.05) promises to be a valuable new resource for the study of its subject(s). Those of you with an interest may want to alert your local library systems to the publication. If it helps, its ISBN is 978-0-313-33589-1, though I don’t see it on Amazon quite yet.
PS. For those curious who wrote the entry on J.R.R. Tolkien (which I desperately wanted), it was Amy Sturgis. So at least if I couldn’t get the assignment, it was nevertheless in good hands. (I also wanted Ursula K. Le Guin, but didn’t get that assignment either. :)